Volleyball: Hill-Murray advances in section playoffs

St. Paul Central no match for versatile Pioneers

Wally Wakefield
Review staff

St. Paul Central visited Hill-Murray High School Friday, Oct. 25, for a Section 4AA quarterfinal volleyball match, and like Washington Technical Magnet School before them, the Minutemen fell victims to the versatile Hill-Murray attack.

The Pioneers launched a methodically varied offense and combined that with a defense that the Central girls found nearly impossible to penetrate.

As a result, the Minutemen fell 3-0.

“We knew it would be a difficult match for us to overcome,” said Central head coach Tena Palmquist. “They are a strong team that plays a tenacious defense. I wish them luck.”

When asked if he thought the match might be as easy as the Pioneers found it, Hill-Murray coach Tim Walen stated, “I really didn’t know what to expect.

“We knew they had some big kids who can hit the ball hard. We were able to attack them and our defense made a big difference as well.

“We did what we had to do. Now we have to see who we play next,” Walen said.

In game one, the Pioneers never trailed. They jumped to a 3-0 start and scored in bunches.

From 5-4, the scored jumped to 10-4. Then it moved to 16-5 before Hill-Murray closed out Central in game one 25-9.

Game two saw Hill-Murray jump to a 7-0 start and then move the score to 14-3.

With the Pioneers in control, the Minutemen fought hard before being stopped 25-13.

A large crowd of Central fans spurred their charges on in game three. The Minutemen began to show some good defense and hung around as they began to match the Pioneers with spurts of points gained on good defense and some good slam kills.

But try as they might, the Minutemen could not overcome the Hill-Murray defense. In the end they lost game three 25-18 and the match 3-0.

Next up the Pioneers (2nd seed) took on Concordia Academy (3rd) Oct. 29 at Hill-Murray.

The winner of that semifinal contest will meet the winner of the St. Croix Lutheran (1st) and Minnehaha Academy (4th) match Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at Bloomington Kennedy High School.

The winner of the Oct. 31, match will head to the State Class AA tournament, which begins Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.

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